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Apr 10, 2013 08:27 PM

Recommendations for brunch/lunch/dinner places (researched!!)

Hi, 3-4 of us will be traveling to New Orleans during the Memorial Day weekend. We're looking for something uniquely NOLA, something that is either not available in or much better than, NYC! We'd like to try as many different things/new flavors as possible. Also, one of us is a vegetarian (he does not eat eggs as well). The casual, the better but 1-2 classy places are fine. We've been to Commander's Palace, Galatoires, Cafe Du Monde and Felix in the past.

We're looking for 4 brunches/lunches and 5 dinners. Based on what I've read so far, I've narrowed down some places,

* Brunch/Lunch - Cochon Butcher, Mr. B's, Cafe Atchafalya, Elizabeths
* Dinner - Herbsaint, Arnauds, Coquette, Antoine's, R'evolution and GW Fin
* Po Boys - Parkway, Johny's and Killer Po-Boys@Back of Erin Rose Bar
* Crawfish - Big Fisherman and Zimmer's seafood
* Muffaletta - Cochon Butcher
* Beignets - Morning call and Cafe beignet
* Oysters - Casamento's

Some other places that I considered but their menus did not scream NOLA to me (please let me know if I'm wrong) are, Dante's, Dominica/August, Bayona and Boucherie. I tried fitting in Brigsten's but the dinner places that I listed seemed to have a relatively more interesting menu.

We'll be staying close to Canal and Bourbon. I have no idea where all the places that I listed are but obviously, closer the better. We will not have access to a car so it's going to be cabs everywhere.

Some questions,

1. For the dinners, there is a chance that I may have to skip a few so what should my order of preference be? Should I replace one or more of the lunch places with any of the dinner places?

2. I need to squeeze in at least one Po-Boy place and Casamento's in. This may mean sacrificing one of the Brunch/Lunch places. I'm putting Cafe Atchafalya as the least preferred (based on the menu) but have a feeling that the general opinion would be to put Elizabeth's at the last place. Which one should go first?

3. Which out of the above are a no-no for my vegetarian friend?

4. Which ones out of the above would not let us in, in shorts and T-shirts?

I would love to get some suggestions and thoughts on the above and if I am missing a must have or have a dud in there.

Thank you very much!

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  1. I would not do shorts and tshirts at Mr. B's, Cafe Atchafalaya, or any of your dinner places. That is not to say that they would turn you away at the door necessarily, but you would be under dressed.

    Call Casamento's and double check their hours before going, as they're closed on Mondays and holidays (and they close for the summer on June 1, if you're staying that long).

    As for your dinner places, I'd drop either Arnaud's or Antoine's as they will be repetitive. My order for the remaining dinners would be Coquette, Herbsaint, GW Fins, R'evolution. Consider subbing in Dante's Kitchen if you're at all interested in the menu (even though it didn't "scream" New Orleans to you) as it's very good, excellent value for money, and would get you out to a different part of town.

    Zimmer's has really excellent crawfish, but I probably wouldn't say it's worth a cab ride out there. They don't have a dining room so you'd be running in to pick up while the cab waited. Big Fisherman is much more expensive, but it's generally good and there are other things to do on Magazine Street in the area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: uptownlibrarian

      Thank you! Just wanted to check on the dress code because if I rmbr. correctly, both Commander's Palace and Galatoires had told us that shorts->no food :) I was wondering how many places are that strict.
      Will call Casamento's to check in advance.
      Would you happen to have an idea as to how vegetarian friendly these places are? Esp. since a lot of places are happy to rustle something up even if it's not explicitly mentioned on the menu.

      1. re: indiefoodie

        Well, regarding the dress, there are two things to consider:

        What will be allowed, and what one would be comfortable wearing.

        The latter is up to you. Would you be comfortable with shorts and a tee-shirt, if all gentlemen were wearing jackets? If so, then all you need to consider is the minimum to get in, and be served.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Thank you Bill. I understand, I'm just trying to figure out both since that varies with the restaurant.
          Galatoires, I remember, we had worn jackets to. Commander's, it was business casual for lunch.
          I just don't know what is the minimum to get into places like Herbsaint, Arnauds, Coquette, Antoine's, R'evolution, GW Fin, Mr. B and Cafe Atchafalaya. Also, what do people generally wear? Thanks!

      2. re: uptownlibrarian

        I would add patois and skip revolution

      3. Take the Canal St. streetcar to pick up your crawfish from K-Jean's. They are a couple doors down from Brocato on the same side of Carrollton Ave. No dine in, but you can walk a few more blocks down to City Park and have a picnic. It is definitely worth paying a bit extra for "select" ( larger) crawfish. Don't forget to bring your libations and some wet wipes.

        Do not miss lunch ( much preferred over dinner) at Commander's (m-f) in the garden room. Theirs Is some of the best gumbo in town but often bypassed for the renowned turtle soup. Prix fixe specials plus 25 cent martinis.

        Consider an all appetizer meal at Brigtsen's rather than Dante's.

        August offers a vegetarian tasting menu.

        1. Don't miss Herbsaint...although your friend will want to avert his eyes from the lamb neck dish that is so popular. Definitely call Casamento's. It's not even open when it's scheduled to be open and it's not near the quarter.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Lambowner

            Never had any issues with Casamento's being closed when it's meant to be open. With the shutters, though, it may look closed from the street when in fact it's open.

            1. re: CampStreet

              We planned a day around the only time it would be open during our visit. While it was the first time we went there, it was familiar to our cab driver. It was definitely closed. Maybe the chef was sick or something, it happens. But if I tried again I would give a quick call to make sure they are serving food.


              1. re: Lambowner

                Sorry to hear about your wasted trip and it stinks that it was closed when you wanted to go. Just wanted to point out for other people that just because it looks closed doesn't mean it is - I've at least twice taken out-of-towners there and had them think it was closed when it wasn't. I presume in the past your cabdriver may have fallen into the same trap as it's the only way to explain his statement that he's never seen it open.

                It never hurts to call ahead, but I've been there dozens of times with no issue - maybe I've just been lucky.

                Again, sorry you won't able to go. Sounds like it was really frustrating.

          2. Don't miss Cochon Butcher....alot of interesting lunch choices. Also, our favorite for a Po'Boy is Parkway but you will need to take the Canal Street streetcar up to it. We loved GWfinns